New mom Melody Blackwell is thankful that her employer allows her to bring her newborn into work on Mondays, but the policy is drawing criticism from some.
Blackwell, a chiropractic assistant for Maryland Farms Chiropractic, took three months of maternity leave before she started bringing her daughter into work once a week, she told CBS New York.
She works from home the rest of the week and said her employer’s flexibility is helpful as a new parent:
“It makes a huge difference financially because daycare is really expensive. And then just breastfeeding, that helps, too, because I’m actually able to breastfeed her when I’m here.”
Dr. Elizabeth Baker, Blackwell’s boss, posted a photo of the mom working with her baby on a Monday — but she never expected it would go viral. She said:
“She was on the phone. She was holding the baby. She was taking some notes from the message on the phone and I just thought that’s a cute picture and posted it.”
The image was quickly shared by hundreds on social media and many applauded the company’s flexibility for the new mom.
However, some Facebook users weren’t happy. One commenter wrote Blackwell still needed maternity leave:
This is wrong. There should be better maternity leave laws not allowing mothers to bring their babies to work. No one can work productively while caring for a newborn. And no one can take care of a newborn while working. Babies and Moms deserve a break from work and the chance to focus on the baby months alone without facing financial hardship. Look to Europe it’s better there!
However, the business defended their policy. They responded by saying the mom had three months of maternity leave, which is longer than average, and that their policy helps her save on childcare.
Maryland Farms Chiropractic wrote:
I can see why you’d say that, but the missing details you dont know are, she had 3 months maternity leave. For the last 4.5 years she came in to the office every day. And we figured out a way for her to continue working from home going forward. As a small business…only 4 total employees we couldn’t afford her to be gone longer. She comes in maybe once a month as of now. As the owner of the business I can say she has exceeded my expectations with her balance of being able to do her job from home with a new baby. 3 months is well above and beyond the average. Though I agree I wish there was a way for small businesses to afford to give longer time off. There are no government funded programs for us small business to give long leave. There are no insurance policies we can get to fund a long leave. It’s a huge loss of man power and a large cost for us to offer any paid leave.
The 2nd issue is the astronomical cost of child care. Allowing her to bring baby in when she comes to work helps with not needing expensive daycare. And gives mom and baby time together instead of with strangers.
Despite the criticism from social media users, the working mom said she’s thankful that her employer is “flexible.”
Do you think taking babies to work is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.